New Reading FC manager is looking forward to bringing the feelgood factor back to the Madejski Stadium, giving loyal Royals some much-needed Christmas cheer.
Steve Clarke was appointed on Tuesday and today’s home game against Watford will be his first in charge of the club – and he can’t wait to meet the club’s supporters.
“The fans will get more a little bit excited than normal [at today’s game] – and create an advantage,” he said, speaking after leading his first training session on Thursday.
“Hopefully we can get a result and we can create a feelgood factor that we can take forward in coming weeks,” he said.
The support from the fans will, he hopes, give a much-needed boost to the Royals, who have struggled to find form so far this season. Today’s game (kick-off 3pm) is against a Watford that lie in sixth place in the Championship and are 10 points ahead of the Royals.
Clarke’s appointment came after a 6-1 drubbing at Birmingham last week, which led to the departure of Nigel Adkins after 80 games in charge.
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind week for both players and the 51-year-old Scot, and it’s something that he’s well aware of.
“It’s always a difficult one,” he said. “When you make a change in football that’s very, very sudden everything changes – you hope that players are going to respond in the right manner and get the supporters something to cheer about.”
And if they get a good result Steve feels that will give the fans some much needed Christmas cheer.
“It’ll be nice to get the supporters buoyant and happy and positive again about the players and the club,” the Scot said.
Steve, who’s previous role was managing West Bromwich Albion, has been delighted at the response to his appointment.
“It’s absolutely tremendous to have the feeling that the supporters are happy to have me here,” he said.
Thursday’s training session was Steve’s first visit to Hogwood and a chance for him to see the work that the Academy does and the work the Royals do in the local community.
“It’s fantastic,” he said of the club’s set-up. “There’s not a lot wrong with the Academy.
“It’s an important part of clubs like Reading; the community [work] is important. If I can find time, I’d love to get involved with that.”
For tickets for today’s game, log on to Reading FC’s website or call 0118 968 1313.